AM Diabetes Centers of America, an independent endocrinology practice in Bartlett, Tennessee, offers a diabetes self-management, education, and support (DSMES) program that has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) since 2010. The program typically serves 450-500 participants per year, all from the Memphis/Mid-South area. Per ADA requirements, participants’ pre- and post-program attendance glycated hemoglobin (A1C), weight, blood pressure, and lipids, are reported annually. Of these, A1C was observed as a key metric indicating blood glucose control. Data sets from ADA Chronicle Diabetes were analyzed quantitatively to compare program attendance and A1C reductions between 2013-2019 and the pandemic peak in 2020-2021. From 2013-2018, program attendance grew at an average rate of 26% per year. Attendance dropped by 30% in 2019, but average A1C reduction among participants in 2019 was 0.8%, and average A1C reduction for all participants in 2013-2019 was 0.64% (SD=0.346; p=0.003). In 2020-2021, attendance dropped by an average of 30% per year, and average A1C reduction was only 0.45% (SD=0.05; p=0.035). In the first post-pandemic year, program attendance rebounded by 18% and average A1C reduction was 1.1%. Because a direct correlation exists between waning program attendance and reduced impact upon participants’ A1C levels during COVID-19, and because these trends reversed as soon as pandemic restrictions were lifted, it may be reasonably ascertained that the mandated restrictions on in-person meetings and outside activities were key factors in producing these results.


K. B. Stoneking: None. K. Latif: None. M. Moore: None. H. White: None.

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